Monday, June 18, 2007

What is this life if full of care

We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep, or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies 1871 - 1940

One of the most delightful advantages of aging is an awakening awareness that probably hasn't been felt so strongly since childhood.

Do you remember the intense kinship you felt with all of nature when you were a child? The awe that little things inspired? A wiggling worm, a tadpole, the green grass growing, and the passion for four leaf clovers? What a precious affinity we had with GRASS, embracing time in guiltless idleness as we lay on the lawn, imagining shapes in the white clouds of summer.

And the little girls who romanced with the flowers in their mothers' gardens, making Princesses out of hollyhocks and sweet heads of clover, - all dressed for the ball and Prince Charming.

Now, as age steals busy activity, it leaves in its place the time to recapture some of the awe of childhood.

The "trailing clouds of glory" that Wordsworth saw surrounding the very young child seem to return to us, and surround us, as we reach the final years.

Some are lucky (or wise) enough to carry the sense of wonder throughout their whole lives, but for others it is a surprise gift bestowed by a sense of infinity and appreciation.

Here are the small birds that gather outside my kitchen window,

- and the magnificent eagles that soar upwards with the currents that are born in this valley.

Here are the simple, endearing daisies,

- and the complex roses with their tightly curled petals, slowly enfolding themselves into splendid maturity.

Here are the flowers of our childhood, the descendant seeds of the perennial sweet peas that Husband's mother planted around the orchard in the early days of the last century

- and the more exotic lilies, that never grew wild in anyone's field.

If we consider them all, and enjoy the beauty they lend to the days we spend aging - they add to the bonus time that enriches all of living. If we are wise enough (when we are younger) to make time to stop and stare and wonder as time sweeps us along in our busy lives, - how much richer we are for that!!

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